Pandemic puts all eyes on public health

Covid-19 has exposed the weak spots of the US public health system — and that presents an opportunity, says an epidemiologist, for the nation to recognize the problems and act to fix them

Lola Butcher • knowable
Nov. 17, 2020 ~14 min

public-health coronavirus society qa health-disease reset special-report-reset

Evolution of the US public health system

TIMELINE: From colonial efforts to control smallpox outbreaks to antimalarial campaigns targeting mosquitoes, the American effort grew for centuries. But cutbacks have weakened it in the past decades.

Lola Butcher • knowable
Nov. 17, 2020 ~6 min

public-health coronavirus society health-disease reset special-report-reset

I got the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Or maybe not.

OPINION: Many Americans say they won’t take a vaccine. I am not one of them — and I have the shots to prove it.

Amber Dance • knowable
Nov. 10, 2020 ~7 min

public-health coronavirus society health-disease reset opinion special-report-reset

Covid stole my Dad’s final months

OPINION: Because of the pandemic, I couldn’t visit him in his nursing home, and because of his dementia he couldn’t understand why. Mismanagement of this crisis has failed the elderly and caused incalculable hurt.

Alison McCook • knowable
Nov. 9, 2020 ~8 min

coronavirus aging society health-disease the-mind reset opinion special-report-reset

Scratching away: The complexities of chronic itch

Itching has myriad causes and mechanisms, many of which remain elusive. Scientists are making headway on parsing its biological underpinnings, in hope of better treatments.

Katherine Harmon Courage • knowable
Nov. 6, 2020 ~15 min

health-disease living-world

It’s not just the germs — it’s also the genes

Pathogens can make us sick. Just how sick depends on genetic variations, including ones that sabotage immune molecules called interferons. A better understanding could lead to new treatments for Covid-19 and other scourges.

Eric Toner • knowable
Nov. 3, 2020 ~13 min

genetics coronavirus health-disease reset special-report-reset

7 ways to fix this pandemic — and stop the next one

OPINION: Experts predict another nearly 180,000 deaths by February. It doesn’t have to be that way, writes health security expert Eric Toner.

Eric Toner • knowable
Oct. 29, 2020 ~7 min

coronavirus society health-disease reset opinion

Wanted: Online gamers to help build a more stable Covid-19 vaccine

People beat artificial intelligence hands-down at puzzling out new ways to fold molecules for a potential SARS-Cov-2 immunization. Thousands more players are needed.

Rhiju Das • knowable
Oct. 20, 2020 ~8 min

health-disease reset

The mysterious, multifaceted cerebellum

Once thought to merely coordinate movement, this region of the brain is proving to exert greater influence on cognition, emotion and other functions

Diana Kwon • knowable
Sept. 30, 2020 ~15 min

health-disease living-world the-mind

Viruses that come to stay

Some linger in the body for a lifetime. The one causing Covid-19 probably isn’t one of them, but it and others can create mischief long after the immune system appears to have banished them.

Amber Dance • knowable
Sept. 15, 2020 ~11 min

coronavirus health-disease

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